“It was a tough day.” This phrase may summarize on more than one level what was said about the amount of concern in Tartous province on Monday during the chain of fires that erupted in more than one area across the province, which amounted to 36 fires, including 21 agricultural fires and 15 forest fires.
“It was a tough day” may summarize the pain of losing these areas, but it is not enough to save the number of fruiting and forest trees that may be lost forever. The forest may need a century to recover—and the loss is doubled by the fact that the perpetrator is still unknown, at a time when we need to know the real criminal who carried out this heinous act, at least so these accidents do not recur every year and we only blame nature, hot air and dry eastern air.
The head of the Forestry Department in Tartous, Hassan Nassif, told Al-Watan that all members of the fire teams and forest protection teams—workers, drivers, technicians, and supervisors—had not slept a single moment and that they had put out all the fires with assistance from everyone, including the fire department, the civil defense, and some other agencies through their mechanisms, such as technical services, agricultural development branch, and afforestation.
He said that the biggest fire was the one that erupted in the al-Tufaha forest and its surroundings, because of the overlap of forest and agriculture.
Regarding the identity of the perpetrator, Nassif said that preliminary information indicated that the fire in this forest and a number of others had started on agricultural land and spread to the forest. Currently, forestry control members were carrying out measures to investigate and determine the areas affected and the number of trees that were burned in terms of forests and agricultural land. He added that the burned areas were huge and the damage was enormous.
Nassif said that some of the small forest and agricultural fires had erupted on Tuesday in al-Anaza in Banyas, and al-Barakhiyeh in al-Dreikish, and at Zouq Barakat in Safita, and that they had been extinguished.
Commander of the Tartous first brigade, Col. Samir Shama told Al-Watan that through concerted efforts all fires had been extinguished by Tuesday morning, saying that the most dangerous was the fire in the al-Tufaha forest, which was extinguished after it was put out in one of the centers, with smoke pouring out after it was extinguished.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.